The Organized Photographer:
The 3 keys to getting more YES answers from photo editors
Every photographer who has finished a photo project has faced this question:
You have a story idea, maybe even an outstanding collection of images for it. And they’re just sitting there. Your work can’t do any good if it isn’t being seen. Let’s get you in front of editors!
I’ve had many years of experience on both sides of this equation – as an editor and a photographer. I can promise you that the best strategy for getting noticed is:
Consistently create. Consistently pitch. Consistently follow up.
It can feel like a huge win just to get the contact information for a publication editor so you can send in your pitch.
So it’s a huge let down when you’re ignored or rejected.
Trust me, it’s a good idea to get used to rejection. It’ll happen a lot, and for reasons that are sometimes hard to understand.
And if you do get a rejection letter, consider that a win. It means your pitch was considered! That’s a big deal in and of itself.
Don’t waste time being bummed. Instead, double down on your greatest strategy: consistency.
- Consistently create
This applies both to your photography, and to continuously refreshing your pitches to be perfectly tailored to each publication you’re pitching.
When you stay active with content creation, you keep your creative juices flowing. And that means fresh ideas are firing. You never know when you’ll come up with an incredible photo idea, or a brilliant new angle to a story you’ve been documenting, which will get you noticed by editors.
- Consistently pitch
Getting published means you don’t stick with a one-at-a-time workflow. You’ve got a lot of irons in the fire and you need to keep them hot.
Send out multiple pitches, each one crafted to address the specific editor, and the needs and voice of the publication you’re pitching. You’ll spend a little more time overall on the pitching process, but you’ll maximize the odds of getting published.
- Consistently follow up
You worked really hard to write an amazing pitch. Why let it disappear into the void of an inbox?
Editors are busy people and sometimes a nudge is really helpful. Give the editor a week or so to see your initial email, then follow up with a polite, non-pushy email. Not only are you more likely to get a firm yes or no answer, but this is also your chance to build a relationship with an editor if they respond.
With these three consistent strategies, you’ll score enough “Yes” answers that your steady stream of successes will overshadow those sure-to-happen rejections.